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Women, children can use restrooms in south Delhi hotels for free


New Delhi, Mar 23: Starting from Friday, women and children can access for free toilet facilities at hotels and restaurants in south Delhi, as the area's civic body and a few hotelier associations have agreed in-principle for it.

However, civic authorities will test the efficacy of this initiative on a "trial basis" and a review would be held on May 1, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation said. SDMC had earlier said the facility for people would begin from April 1 on a nominal payment basis.

"Some hotel and restaurant-owner bodies had on Wednesday met senior SDMC officials on this proposal and both sides agreed in-principle to allow women and children to use toilets at their premises from March 24," a senior SDMC official said.

Delhi: Free restroom for women in hotels

The municipal body has initiated this step as part of its efforts to boost 'Swachh Bharat' campaign in its area. It had acted on the advice of Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who had asked the SDMC to explore this idea.

According to the previous proposal, even men were to be included, and users of such toilets were to shell out up to Rs 5 as per discretion of restaurants and hotels.

"The establishment of these restaurants have also been given discretion to charge upto Rs 5 per usage to cover their charges towards maintenance and cleaning," the SDMC had said on March 15.

The move will now make available for use an additional over 3,500 toilets accessible to public, the SDMC said.

[Also read: Now every restaurant in Delhi will keep restrooms open for public]

The decision has been taken in view of the issue of safety of women. During Wednesday's meet, civic officials also told them (restaurant/hotel-owners) that the implementation of the decision is not going to "infringe on their business interests".

SDMC also said the civic body is planning to increase the number of public sanitation facilities, especially in markets.

"The owners have agreed for allow free usage of washrooms at hotels and restaurants for women and children. The owners, however, will have a limited discretion on security concerns," the official said. The corporation said this will go a long way in improving the ranking of the SDMC in the Swachh Bharat Mission survey.

"The matter will, however, be reviewed on May 1 to understand the concerns and the practical difficulties faced by hotels during the trial period and also to explore the possibilities for further increasing the scope of this initiative," he said.

The official said the SDMC is also mulling making mandatory this facility for issue of health trade licences.


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